Thu, Oct 12, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Double Ten unrest suspects identified

CONSEQUENCES Shih Ming-teh and 18 others could face charges for their behavior during the Double Ten National Day protests on Tuesday

By Rich Chang and Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Riot police confront anti-President Chen Shui-bian protesters blocking a main avenue in the early hours of yesterday morning in Taipei.

PHOTO: WALLY SANTANA, AP

Police yesterday accused former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) and 18 other people of violating the law during their protests against the president on Tuesday.

Deputy Minister of Justice Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) told a press conference that the ministry had instructed prosecutors to conclude their investigations into the matter as soon as possible and added that prosecutors would seek heavy sentences for anyone indicted.

"The unlawful rally on Double Ten day, for which the anti-Chen campaign did not seek permission, caused civic chaos and led to numerous violent incidents, for which the organizers of the rally must take responsibility," Lee said.

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office said it had videotaped evidence of infractions committed by 19 suspects during the Double Ten celebrations.

The individuals are accused of violating the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法).

The 19 individuals are: Shih, the instigator of the anti-Chen campaign, and campaign organizers Chien Hsi-chieh, Chang Fu-chung (張富忠), Chen Yao-chang (陳耀昌), Cheng Lung-shui (鄭龍水), Yao Li-ming (姚立明), Jerry Fan (范可欽), Liu Kun-lung (劉坤龍), Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), Chan Che (詹澈), Chuang Yen (莊嚴), Yu Cheng-cheng (游正成), Chou Shu-mei (周淑美); Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Sun Ta-chien (孫大千), Joanna Lei (雷倩) and Kuo Su-chun (郭素春); independent Legislator Shen Chih-hwei (沈智慧); New Party Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新) and Democratic Action Alliance vice convener Chang Ya-chung (張亞中).

The charges are related to the presence of thousands of protesters at a rally outside Taipei Railway Station on Tuesday afternoon and, subsequently, along Zhongxiao W Road before being dispersed by the Taipei City Police Department in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Under Shih's direction, the rally turned into a sit-in on the road from about 9pm on Tuesday night.

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) requested the protesters disperse by 11pm, but about 5,000 diehards refused to leave until the police department sent about 1,400 riot police to disperse them at 4:30am yesterday morning.

The area was cleared after the last protesters were carried away at about 5am.

The police department gathered evidence of violent scuffles during the illegal demonstration and later demanded that the anti-Chen campaign shoulder the responsibility for these incidents.

However, campaign leaders yesterday shrugged off charges of violating public order and vowed to continue their movement.

"It's not a big deal. Organizers of any mass protest inevitably face such charges sooner or later. We are not surprised," Chang Fu-chung, news coordinator of the campaign, said yesterday at the sit-in area in front of the Taipei Railway Station.

When asked about the absence of campaign organizers when the police stepped in to disperse protesters, Chang Fu-chung said Shih and others were "taking a rest."

While Chang Fu-chung said he respected the police's decision to disperse the protesters, Chien objected.

"For the protesters who insisted on sitting in the road, retreating back to the [railway] station felt like a defeat," he said.

Chang Fu-chung said protesters would petition in front of the legislature tomorrow to support the second presidential recall motion, before returning to Ketagalan Boulevard on Saturday. They plan to remain there until Nov. 3.

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